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Old 02-02-2011, 13:29   #1
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Cruiser Family Wannabes

hi
for the past 6 months we have been talking about liquidating our life-buying a boat, and sailing the world with 2 our kids till the $$ runs out -
here's the rub: we live in the desert, dont own a boat- dont sail, and the kids cry whenever we talk about it. (they are 7 and 9, and have zero boating experience.) oh, did i mention i get seasick?
we seem to be stuck on how to get from where we are to where we want to be.
any and all advice about how to get the ball rolling is greatly appreciated.
thanks
kiwiserenity
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Old 02-02-2011, 13:35   #2
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Hey kiwiserenity...welcome to CF.
I'm thinking I would start with a sailing vacation for the whole family...something easy and fun...if you can get them hooked, its better.
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Old 02-02-2011, 13:55   #3
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Originally Posted by kiwiserenity View Post
hi
for the past 6 months we have been talking about liquidating our life-buying a boat, and sailing the world with 2 our kids till the $$ runs out -
here's the rub: we live in the desert, dont own a boat- dont sail, and the kids cry whenever we talk about it. (they are 7 and 9, and have zero boating experience.) oh, did i mention i get seasick?
we seem to be stuck on how to get from where we are to where we want to be.
any and all advice about how to get the ball rolling is greatly appreciated.
thanks
kiwiserenity
I would go sailing just once before selling everything.
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Old 02-02-2011, 14:02   #4
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I agree... else you could just end up swapping one desert for another.....
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Old 02-02-2011, 14:08   #5
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my husband and i did get asa 101-104 in the past 5 months- it's difficult to practice/build up sailing skills where we live,however.
family sailing vacations are pricey- would rather put that toward our kitty.
i guess the question i have is really how did you go from living on land, to becoming cruisers? especially those with kids
thanks
nancy
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Old 02-02-2011, 14:19   #6
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Get (and read) the book Cruising for Cowards by Liza and Andy Copeland

This is their webiste: Liza & Andy Copeland - Cruising Authors

The Cowards book is informative and if you e-mail the authors, they will probably respond to your questions.

Theirs is just one point of view of many when trying to go cruising, you can find many out there.

Disclaimer: I am not related in any way with the authors, their website, publisher, barber, etc. I just like the book.
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Old 02-02-2011, 14:27   #7
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If the kids are not on board and don't change their minds in the process it could blow the whole plan. What will you do if you end up on a boat, no house, and two miserable children? It's hard to get away from a family conflict when you can get no further than 30-40 feet from the source of the problem.

Plus the sea sick thing could be a deal killer. Most (and that is most, definitely not all) people adapt after a day onboard and seasickness goes away. Some are ok until it gets a little rough and symptoms can return. I have seen some that were incapacitated the whole time they were on a boat and never adapted. You need to carefully analyze your position on this continuum before taking the irrevocable step of selling the house.

Would you have the option of moving to a city by the ocean (without traumatizing the kids)? That would open up a lot more, less expensive options for some practice boating for less money.

All that being said, I think it would be taking a pretty big risk to dump everything for a dream with so many unknowns still hanging in the balance. The ocean is not going away so waiting another year or so won't hurt. I sold my boat and gave up the life for 30 years and now am getting ready to go again.
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Old 02-02-2011, 14:44   #8
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I do like to be beside the seaside...

Have you thought of a camping holiday (or similar) somewhere nice and warm beside the sea, with a pool - Maybe even with a few big marinas nearby?

If I remember my long distant childhood with kids all you need is a warm day and water and they go crazy...

Don't forget the sunblock.

They even wrote a song about it.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:38   #9
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kiwiserenit,

Here's what we did:

We learned to sail before kids and had a 22' trailer sailer on the Great Lakes. With 2 small children (4 yrs and newborn) we bought a cheap fixer upper and worked on it a few years while we earned some cash. When we left on this boat (boys were 3 and 7) we sold our house (it was right before the crash) and much stuff. We weren't sure how long we'd be gone or if we would like the life so we didn't sell everything. At the time we were living in CT and left on the boat down the east coast. We stayed out for a year (went to the Bahamas) and decided we wanted to go farther, longer and on a bigger boat. So we came back and rented a furnished place for 2 years while we earned more cash, sold the old boat, and subsequently looked for and bought a "new" boat - this time a catamaran. The boys are now 6 & 9 and we are living on our boat while we are fixing her up and earning a little more cash. We are hoping to leave the east coast this spring or summer and head south toward Central America (our short term goal).

The boys love being on the boat and sailing. They always liked sailing but the Bahamas made them love it even more. They are avid swimmers and snorkelers. We don't have to convince them to go with us, they are on board.

I'm not sure if any of this helps you, given where you live, but I would definitely suggest not selling everything and buying an expensive boat, but start with maybe renting a house near water (sell some stuff and store some stuff, in case you come back soon) and buy a cheaper (i.e. monohull) boat - there are many good inexpensive ones out there now. You probably wouldn't even need to buy a fixer upper, but it depends on what you have to spend I guess.

Now that we are on our 2nd boat, we are starting to get rid of stuff we stored for when we came back, it's just not worth keeping now. But it was a kind of safety net in case we wanted to come back to our old life.

Also, take your kids with you to look at boats and make them feel that it's part of their decision too. Really listen to what they do and don't like about it and try to address their concerns, don't ignore them. There will be other kids out there, but not many and not in every port. It helps if you kids can play well together (ours do, thankfully). Look up some blogs about cruisers with kids and show them to your kids. Maybe seeing other kids out there and having fun, will help them see what it could be like. Get them interested in water sports (I know, not where you live now). They shouldn't be hard to convince, but as they get older they don't want to leave friends, etc. (especially girls it seems). Make an effort for them to keep in touch with friends and family (through blog or email or skype). Don't make them feel like this is forever, tell them you want to try it for a year and if they still hate it, you'll come back. I'm sure it's scary for them to feel like they are leaving everything they have known to start a completely new life, and one they know nothing about. I think I'd be scared too!

Well, I'll end it here. Hopefully some of this is useful, but everyone is different. You can do this, if you really want to. Your kids will love it when they're out there, but don't take them kicking and screaming, I'd try to win them over first.

Catherine
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:42   #10
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p.s. I forgot to mention, I get sea sick too (very). There are lots of remedies out there, and I'd bet there is one that will work for you. I'll admit that part of the reason we are on a catamaran is because of this. It definitely helps the situation.
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Old 23-02-2011, 23:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwiserenity
hi
for the past 6 months we have been talking about liquidating our life-buying a boat, and sailing the world with 2 our kids till the $$ runs out -
here's the rub: we live in the desert, dont own a boat- dont sail, and the kids cry whenever we talk about it. (they are 7 and 9, and have zero boating experience.) oh, did i mention i get seasick?
we seem to be stuck on how to get from where we are to where we want to be.
any and all advice about how to get the ball rolling is greatly appreciated.
thanks
kiwiserenity
Seems like an introduction to the sailing lifestyle, needs to be brought into their and your life. Magazines, books, movies, that sell the dream is a start. Being stuck in the sand box, can be more limiting than that of a boat on the ocean. an understanding of sea life, weather, and the beautify that abounds, will make the transition easier. Certainly understand that a bird does not take flight just because it wants to, it must get it's wings and understand how they work, before flight is an option. Time and education are the keys to making it happen.
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Old 19-07-2011, 20:45   #12
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Re: Cruiser Family Wannabes

We are also in the planning stages. Three suggestions:
Charter a boat for a week somewhere fun to get the kids excited and gauge whether or not you all have sea legs.
Follow family sailing blogs, especially those that are honest about the pros and cons.
Read a full memoir book about a family cruise. I just finished "red water blue water salt water" by Todd scantlebury.

All these have helped to convince us that this lifestyle will work for us, for at least a year to start. But I know that these would just as clearly convince someone that it isn't for them if it really isn't a good fit.

Good luck!
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Old 20-07-2011, 06:44   #13
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Re: Cruiser Family Wannabes

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwiserenity View Post
2 our kids till the $$ runs out -
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwiserenity View Post
here's the rub: the kids cry whenever we talk about it. (they are 7 and 9, and have zero boating experience.) oh, did i mention i get seasick?
I have changed my opinion of having kids on board in the last 3 years sailing round the world.

I don't have kids (nor do I have affinity for the little grubs).

I used to think it would give them a once in a life time opportunity and put them far in front of the class at home.

Now, after meeting a lot of kids of different ages around the world I think its better not to take kids out of school, nor dump them back in, bankrupt, to a school after years at sea.

The cruising community is old. Realllllly old. Retirees. A few younger boats with kids but just a few.
Yes, a 7 to 15 year old will appear so sophisticated because they can talk to adults, but thats because they have no friends, no peer groups, they are despised by their forgotten friends at home, despised by the local kids when shoved into some island school for 2 weeks, despised by kids they don't like but have no alternative than to mix with.

The main social interaction kids get here is to hang around the bar at Happy Hour!

Thats what you want for your kids?

What about teaching? You wish to have the best trained, most talented teachers for your children? So where do you fit in? The kid ends up with an untrained, unpaid, unskilled Mom or Dad who failed Calculus anyway. Even if they passed it they couldn't now remember an X axis from a Y axis!

Some of the kids I have met have done extraordinarily well in exams but that doesn't mean it was a good education, but that the kids just studied one subject they liked, probably forgetting the rest. Any why did they study so hard? Think a 40 foot home, no friends and a Mum that says "go to your cabin and read".

So the kids comes home after the 3 years of adventure:
They have no friends anymore, the kids from before have forgotten them - thats if you move back to the old neighborhood.
Your kids don't relate to other children their own age.
They are 3 years behind pop culture, their peer group, TV shows, fashion. thus they will be excluded and detested.
And you will be broke. So many people say they'll cruise till the money runs out. So they do. Then they can't sell the boat and if they do that goes to permanent accommodation. You are back in high price suburbia without cash and breaking in a new job buying a car and pushbikes for the kids and Nike’s, Mobile Phones and the School Teacher says its $100 to go on the Science Field Trip and you have to say NO!

5 years after you get home you are finally getting enough disposable income to let the No1 kid go to College.

Is it all worth it?

Will the child be bent in the head?

After a decade of heartache the kid says Mum I told you I didn't want to go! If I want to snorkel with sealions I can do that in my Gap Year for $1,000. If I want to sail I'll do it for free at the yacht club. If I want to know old people I'll visit the park.


So think about it carefully before you uproot lives.


Mark
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Old 20-07-2011, 07:25   #14
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Re: Cruiser Family Wannabes

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Conwaysailors.
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Old 21-07-2011, 19:34   #15
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Re: Cruiser Family Wannabes

While many things MarkJ says are very true. However, many kids make the adjustment very well to cruising, in the case of my own kids they were itching to get back out to sea after a long stint on land.

What mark says about educational bases is very true, I'm lucky in the sense I have a brilliant curriculum to teach from, as well as being a qualified teacher myself, when the kids are back on land going to school, their marks compare very well to everyone else in all subjects, my daughter struggles a bit with school but she also struggles at school as well, on the boat she gets more one on one time and as much of it as she needs, so I would say she actually gets more attention at sea than she does in a class room.

I also approach this from a different perspective to many money isn't an issue I need to worry much about as I have a pretty constant income, however if I was in the same situation where I had to sell my house and worldly goods in order to cruise I would very much think again and wait.

Also another thing MarkJ mentions is the age of the cruising community and for that I 100% agree it can be hard to find other cruising kids, but they are out there none the less, if you put a shout out over the HF now and then you do get replies from other kids often within range so you can arrange to stop at an atoll within range for a visit, however that is much easier in the Pacific than anywhere else. I have known cruising families just to stop for a few weeks in a certain place to allow the kids to socialize with other kids.

I have no doubt you will come to the right decision for yourself.
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